Cherry Blossom Anpan

Delicatessen Chef's Garden

Anpan, buns filled with sweet bean paste, is said to have played a part in popularizing bread-based foods in the early Meiji Era (late 1860s and 1870s) when various aspects of Western culture started spreading throughout Japan. It was apparently inspired by the Manju steamed buns that were well loved by the general public. It is also said that when Anpan was presented to Emperor Meiji at a cherry blossom viewing event, they were decorated with salt-pickled cherry blossoms as a symbol of the spring season. This treat is available in a wide range of variations that use both smooth and coarse bean paste for added variety, making it a shining example of Japanese sweet breads and giving it unwavering popularity.

 


This Cherry Blossom Anpan is attracting a lot of attention at The Okura Tokyo's bakery this season due to its adorable appearance. Its rich dough is made with a bit of extra sweetness and butter, and you can see the faint pink of the cherry blossom sweet bean paste peeking out. First it is molded into a standard Anpan shape, then it is cut five times with scissors, with each portion twisted to create the flower shape. The key to maintaining the cherry blossom pink color is to bake them quickly, at a high temperature for a short time. This eclectic combination of Japanese and Western flavors pairs equally well with Japanese tea and coffee, making it the perfect break time snack. Giving a few of them as small seasonal souvenirs is also sure to make people smile.

This Cherry Blossom Anpan is attracting a lot of attention at The Okura Tokyo's bakery this season due to its adorable appearance. Its rich dough is made with a bit of extra sweetness and butter, and you can see the faint pink of the cherry blossom sweet bean paste peeking out. First it is molded into a standard Anpan shape, then it is cut five times with scissors, with each portion twisted to create the flower shape. The key to maintaining the cherry blossom pink color is to bake them quickly, at a high temperature for a short time. This eclectic combination of Japanese and Western flavors pairs equally well with Japanese tea and coffee, making it the perfect break time snack. Giving a few of them as small seasonal souvenirs is also sure to make people smile.


*Cherry Blossom Anpan can be purchased at Delicatessen Chef's Garden.